You’ve finally finished designing your outdoor product when suddenly you realize you have no idea where to begin searching for materials.
Which materials are best for the outdoors? Which tape is best for outdoor use?
Every year, Strouse assists hundreds of companies in finding flexible materials for their desired applications. We believe it’s crucial to understand how aligning your material and purpose will result in the best outcome.
Once you’ve grasped the importance of choosing a tape that matches the specific needs of your outdoor solution, you’ll have a better idea of what material factors to consider before approaching a manufacturer with your design.
What Should I Know About Outdoor Tapes?
Outdoor tapes are primarily affected by temperature, weather conditions, and UV exposure.
There are many variations of outdoor applications, ranging from weatherstripping doors and windows of your house, to your patio, to the inside of your car.
The type of resistance you need will depend on how you use the outdoor adhesive. For example, the tape you choose for a motor label will look much different than the tape that mounts hooks for towels.
Remember that although many outdoor applications are meant to last indefinitely, all tape has an expiration date. While you can no doubt find an extremely long-lasting tape, it will eventually become discolored, frayed, or lose stickiness.
That’s why your best option is to choose a material targeting specific areas of resistance to ensure the best longevity for your solution.
Lastly, before you apply outdoor tape, consider prepping the surfaces you’re applying it to. Removing any dirt or debris before placing tape will help the tape to stick better and last longer than it might otherwise.
What are the Best Materials to Use Outdoors for Surface Protection?
Good outdoor materials are heat-resistant and shield from UV or water damage.
Finding the right materials comes down to the location you’re placing your outdoor product and the type of resistance you’re looking for.
By selecting materials that protect against the elements you’re most concerned about, you can be confident that your product will fit its intended purpose.
The reason your bumper stickers don’t immediately fade from sunlight or wilt when doused in the pouring rain is overlaminates.
Overlaminates are films adhesively laminated onto a design or surface to protect it from different weather conditions. They are usually optically clear and scratch or abrasion resistant.
Using overlaminate on your adhesive gives you the benefit of damage resistance and increased ease of handling. Overlaminates prevent surface ink from wearing out and add another layer of protection to your part, making it thicker, more rigid, and easier to apply.
Label Stock is often used in applications requiring surface protection and heat resistance. It can survive high temperatures and resist liquids while retaining a printed design.
Converters will print label stock labels with designs and laminate them with overlaminate for additional durability. These labels attach to outdoor furniture, appliances, vehicles, and more.
What are the Best Tapes for Outdoor Use for Bonding?
Generally, the best tape for outdoor use is whichever tape fits your application.
The “outdoor tape” category is so massive that a random outdoor tape might not function for your intended purpose. For instance, the outdoor tape you’d use to mount a picture frame on a brick wall differs from the outdoor tape you’d use to attach a car bumper.
Regardless of your usage, any tape facing the elements will encounter weathering and requires some durability to withstand it.
When in doubt, VHB tapes are extremely durable and known for their high-strength bonding capabilities. If you’re looking to hold two objects together in harsh weather or temperature conditions, consider checking out our VHB tape to see whether you’d be interested in trying any high-strength bondage tapes:
How Do I Choose an Outdoor Tape?
Because there are many different types of outdoor tape, selecting one depends entirely on your needs.
Consider the following list of questions when making your choice:
- What materials are you joining together?
- Will the tape encounter direct sun/UV exposure?
- What are the heat qualifications?
- Will the tape encounter moisture? If so, how much and what kind?
- Does this tape require sealing capabilities?
- How long would you like your outdoor tape to last for?
Whether you decide to locate a material before approaching a manufacturer, knowing the answers to these questions will get you started on the path to finding the ideal outdoor tape for your project.
Looking to try out a particular tape before you go any further with your design? Try out Strouse’s Sample Express. If you have a part drawing, we can transform it into a prototype for you to test.